Monday, December 20, 2010

Taco Soup


Here's a very good taco soup recipe that I'm preparing for a Mexican Christmas party in our teacher's lounge tomorrow. (I will triple the recipe).

It has just a bit of a kick, not too spicy--just right.

YOU WILL NEED:

1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies)
1 can diced tomatoes w/garlic (or stewed tomatoes)
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 lb. cooked hamburger.

Sour cream
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Taco chips

Combine all except last 3 ingredients (do NOT DRAIN any cans) in a pot on stove (simmering) or in a crock pot.

When done, serve in bowls- top with sour cream , cheddar and taco chips.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cranberry Pork Loin



What a perfect recipe to serve for Christmas!

It is delicious, easy to prepare (only 4 ingredients) and it's made in a crock pot so the tireless cook can attend to decorating, wrapping last minute gifts or visiting with guests.


*NOTE: For a better presentation, I would have warmed up a bit of cranberry sauce in the microwave and drizzled over top right before serving--after cooking for so long, the sauce lost its color and "moved off" the top of the meat. My guys didn't care--they devoured this roast!

YOU WILL NEED:

1 (5-8 lb.) Pork loin
1 can cranberry sauce
seasoned salt
1/2 cup brown or Dijon mustard

Sprinkle roast with seasoned salt to taste. Place in crockpot. Spread mustard over top of pork as if "icing" it. Stir cranberry sauce and pour over top. Cook on high 1-2 hours, then on low for 6 hours (180 degrees on meat thermometer).

*I cooked mine on high the whole time because I needed to serve it earlier--but it led to the meat falling apart--which normally is not a problem, but it doesn't look as good when you plate it.
Delicious!

ENJOY!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Devil's Food Cookies (from a cake mix)


Simple and so good- these are great to add to your cookie sampler platter for Christmas.

It's always good to have a box of cake mix handy for those unexpected times when cookies are needed.

I make them with and without nuts, with and without powdered sugar--and they're always a hit.


1 box devil's food cake mix
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tbsp. water
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. chopped nuts
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cake mix, eggs, water and shortening until well blended. Stir in nuts. Shape into small balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 48 cookies.

Friday, December 3, 2010

O-Balls (a 3-ingredient recipe)--reposted


An Ever so simple recipe to make with the kids! Delicious and makes 75! Let the kiddos give them as gifts!

A co-worker served these in the Lounge at school, and I had forgotten how simple and delicious they were. Now they are back on my Christmas list of fun treats to make.
WARNING! These are very rich.


YOU WILL NEED:

1 package Oreo cookies(1 lb. 4 oz.)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
20 ounces almond bark,melted




Directions:

Crush 1 pkg. Oreo cookies. Mix with softened cream cheese. Roll into balls; chill. Dip in 18-20 oz. melted almond bark to coat.

*You can also crush Oreo's in food processor and add in cream cheese cubes to mix. * chill this mixture before rolling into balls.

*You can drizzle with chocolate if desired.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Best Ever Pumpkin Bread


Extremely moist- and filled with treats- all of which are optional, but makes it so much more interesting.

My Mom has made this recipe every Thanksgiving and Christmas as long as I can remember! It always receives rave reviews and someone always requests the recipe.

She prepares it in a bundt or tube pan for the best presentation. I've also baked it in mini loaf pans and given them as small thank you gits, and also muffin and mini-muffin size to share with a crowd. (*Remember- cooking times would need to be adjusted when cooking in smaller pans)

Give it a try and start a new holiday tradition in your home!

YOU WILL NEED:
3 c. sugar
3 1/2 cups flour.
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 small can pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. oil
3/4 cups water
3/4 cups nuts (walnuts or pecan_
1 c. raisins (optional)
1 c. maraschino cherries, halved (optional)

Sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla and water. Add to dry mixture and mix well with blender. Fold in nuts, raisins and cherries. Grease and flour a tube/bundt pan. Pour in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Tastes even better the next day!

CHECK OUT MY SIDEBAR FOR MORE DELICIOUS THANKSGIVING RECIPES!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

And the winner is.....



The winner of the COOKBOOK GIVE-AWAY is.......

Teri Schloss!

Terri entered on facebook on the "Event" posting.
She will be receiving her cookbook this week!

*If you are not a friend of "Everything in Moderation" on facebook, what are you waiting for? (Link provided on the sidebar)

Thanks all, for entering.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's TOO Easy and TOO Fattening & TOO Good Casserole!


I'll admit it. I love a good ole throw together as much as the next person, but even more so when it "sticks to your ribs" with a creamy cheesy sauce! Obviously, I can't eat this way too much because at this rate, it will be awhile before I ever seen those ribs of mine again! I know they're there--hiding under a layer (or two) of flesh.

I realize Velveeta cheese is frowned upon by snooty foodies, but people, there is NOTHING that says comfort like VELVEETA. No. thing.

So, before you turn up your nose at this simple dish, just imagine the warm creamy cheesy sauce, melting nicely with the Italian flavored meat and soft noodles.

After imagining it, whip some up for yourself. Serve it with a nice fresh GREEN salad with LOW-fat dressing and hop on the treadmill if that makes you feel better. But be prepared...this dish is haunted! I heard it calling my name a time or two after dinner.


YOU WILL NEED:

*1 bag pasta shells (boil and drain)

*1 lb. hamburger.
*Good Season's Italian dressing pkt (to taste--I use A LOT!)
*1 clove minced garlic (optional) Unless you're Italian- it's NOT optional then!
* 8 oz.  Velveeta, cubed ( you can use more...I'll never tell ;)
* Milk (to desired consistency- start with 1/4 cup and go from there)

Brown meat with seasonings. Drain fat. Add cheese and let melt while stirring.
Add shells, then add milk to make desired consistency.

Add to 13x9 baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.

(I know- it's REALLY fattening, but as Paula Deen would say...I'm not your Doctor, I'm a cook!")
Bake just till cheese melts (350 degrees).

ENJOY!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie



Chicken pot pie...ahhh. This truly is comfort food at its best!
Today was a crisp fall day and I needed a hearty warm meal to nourish my body and soul and this definitely did the trick!

I started to make Paula Deen's recipe, but opted out and created my own.
The sauce is her recipe though. I loved the HEAVY cream factor...yep! It made all the difference!

Come on- give it a try!



YOU WILL NEED:



* 2 pie crusts
(your own recipe or Pillsbury)
Lay bottom in a pie plate-crimp edges, set aside.
With top layer, cut out designs with cookie cutters (I used a diamond shape but your favorite shape will do)
Set aside.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

* 4 chicken breast halves, or 2 cups leftover cooked chicken
Add * Seasoned salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons butter
* tsp. minced garlic

Cook chicken in skillet till brown and cooked through. Cut into bite-size pieces.

2 bags frozen veges of your choice (I used frozen carrots, celery and potatoes with a bit of onion).

Parboil till tender crisp. Drain. Set aside.

For filling:

* 1/3 cup butter
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 quart heavy cream
* 1/4 cup chicken base
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic


In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly add flour, stirring until consistency of peanut butter, but not brown like a roux. Slowly add cream and keep stirring. Add chicken base, garlic, and stir until thickened. Add vege mixture and cut up chicken. Remove from heat. Add mixture to the pie crust, and then top with a design of your choice for top pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. *WATCH crust after about 15 min. If it looks brown enough, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.



Serve warm with a nice salad. Very filling.

Enjoy!
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*BEFORE YOU LEAVE: CLICK HERE to enter my cookbook giveaway!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Time to CELEBRATE!!!!



I'm celebratin' for many reasons...

The holidays are fast approaching...my soldier gets to come home for Christmas and I've changed my blog around a little.

SO, in honor of my celebratory spirit, YOU get a chance to Win this:



This book is filled with muffin and bread recipes to make your own gifts. Each mix fits into a quart jar. The book even includes tags complete with recipient directions with each recipe. Just cut it out, personalize and attach to the jar. Fun to make and affordable, gifts in a jar make great gifts for neighbors, teachers and friends!

And all you have to do is check out my sidebar on the right and tell me which recipe you would like to try!
(Only U.S. residents)

It's that simple.


You can leave the comment here, or on facebook, but hurry! The contest ends NOV.Sat. Nov. 14th at midnight. All commenters who followed directions will have their name entered into the drawing by the good ole "hat method".

Winner will be notified on this Site and on facebook.

So come on, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Simple yet Elegant Filet Mignon




Hey- we all could use a bit of pampering now and then, so I decided today would be BIG AL day. That's my oft neglected husband who quietly stands by as I get myself involved in too many things at times- and he never complains about a house that needs cleaning (actually, he just starts in on it himself!)

I feel as if he has been put on the back burner (pardon the pun) so I vowed to spend a leisurely weekend with him--JUST him. So far so good...

I treated him to a nice supper. Filet Mignon, creamed peas and potatoes, glazed carrots, garlic toast and a salad and his favorite sweet tea!

This was a simple, yet delicious menu that can be served for a special occasion or just serve it when you want to make someone you love feel special.

I love you Big AL!

If you want to give it a try--YOU WILL NEED:

* 2 (8 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 pound total)
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons minced shallot
* 2 slices bacon

Directions:

Place oven rack in it's highest position. Set oven to Broil.
Rub steaks all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with onion powder, then with salt and pepper. Wrap one slice of bacon around each steak, and secure with a toothpick.
Place steaks onto a broiler pan, and broil for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the steaks over, and sprinkle the tops with shallots. Broil for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to your liking.



Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hot German Potato Salad


I love this sweet/tangy potato salad that goes well with just about anything. It can be eaten cool, however, you'd have to change the name, so why even bother?

I just made it this afternoon to serve with some pork chops. It had been awhile since I made this recipe-the recipe card actually fell out of one of the cookbooks I was getting ready to read, so I took it as a "sign"!

Ummmm...it just hit the spot! (Score one for the "signs"!)

It looks a bit "soupy" cuz...it is. I only had about 4 cups potatoes but we love the sauce so I didn't adjust the recipe. Yours will not be as soupy if you use the proper amount of potatoes.

So, here ya' go:

YOU WILL NEED:
5 slices bacon
3/4 cup. onion, chopped
2 T. flour
2/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 c/ sliced, cooked potatoes

DIRECTIONS:
Fry bacon till crisp and remove from skillet- drain on paper towels and reserve 2-3 T. drippings. Cook onions in dripping till tender. Stir in flour;blend well. Add vinegar and water;cook, stirring until bubbly and slightly thick. Stir in sugar, salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Crumble bacon and add to hot mixture, then carefully pour over potatoes. Coat well.

*Can refrigerate leftovers. Use double boiler to heat through when reheating.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

FIRST PLACE Cappuccino mix



Recently I was asked to speak at a FIRST PLACE Victory Celebration as several ladies who had been working on becoming healthier the good old fashioned way(by eating right and exercising- and choosing to put Christ First in all they do)celebrated their collective weight loss of over 100 lbs.!

They shared several recipes and healthy-eating tips and encouraged each other and prayed together for many weeks then celebrated with a wonderful and healthy dinner/potluck that was WONDERFUL!

Now- you all know my philosophy about diet food...I normally don't like it at all- I'm an "Everything in Moderation" girl- literally. But I must admit- their buffet that evening was delicious!

And what was I doing there speaking to women who know how to eat properly? Well, I was encouraging them to keep the faith!!!!

I was given a bag full of goodies for my efforts and included in the bag was this YUMMY cappuccino mix! (Thank you Shelley Wilburn!)

You can make it too- and although they didn't give the fat/cal. info, by the looks of the ingredients, it can't be all that bad...especially in moderation.

So- here's what you need:

1 1/2 c. powdered fat-free non-dairy creamer
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 c. Splenda
2/3 c. decaffeinated instant coffee
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Combine all; mix well and store in an air-tight container. When ready to use, add 3 level Tablespoons of mix to 1 1/2 c. boiling water. Stir and enjoy!



*Makes 16 servings.

Visit my website: MURPHY'S LAW to learn more about my public speaking.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Well, Hello there!



Just had to pop in and share a photo of my birthday cake my friend Gail made for me.
a chocolate layer cake with REAL whip cream icing topped with chocolate covered strawberries!

I'm devouring later this afternoon with family as I celebrate my 7th anniversary of my 39th birthday!

A few years ago, I was sportin' this look....



This year, Big AL and I have been enjoying the weekend together and I promised I would NOT sit/lie/pose on the table next to my cake!

I have had a WONDERFUL year- filled with many things that have kept me busy (like a trip to Haiti) and away from my food blogging but never fear, I shall return!

Thank you all for hanging in there with me. Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fluffiest Ever Scrambled Eggs


I don't prepare many recipes in my microwave, it's usually used for reheating, however, I ALWAYS use the microwave to cook my scrambled eggs because they never fail to turn out light and fluffy!

Here is an easy recipe for you to try this weekend. I don't think you'll go back to preparing them in the skillet after this one!

YOU WILL NEED:

2 eggs
1 T. Butter (not margarine- I HATE margarine!)
1 - 1 1/2 T. milk
S & P to taste

Melt butter in microwavable dish.
Add eggs and beat together with fork, add milk and beat together.

Cook for two minutes on high. If needed, break up with fork and continue cooking till desired consistency.

Add S & P.

*I also add shredded cheese when I'm feeling stressed. ;)

Enjoy a leisurely weekend.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

AWESOME Gourmet Tuna Salad!




I found this recipe at allrecipes.com and had to try it because of the fantastic reviews it received from so many of those who had tried it. It was a recipe from a caterer and it did not disappoint!

I have several ways I prepare mine, this one was very different, though. Secret ingredients are PARMESAN CHEESE and CURRY! Who knew these flavors would blend so nicely with tuna?!

Not a believer? Don't take my word for it- prepare it yourself and wow the crowd!



Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

* 1 (7 ounce) can white tuna, drained and flaked
* 6 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing (this makes a very creamy salad- use less if you prefer a not-so creamy salad)
* 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
* 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
* 1/8 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
* 1 tablespoon dried parsley
* 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
* 1 pinch garlic powder

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and onion flakes. Season with curry powder, parsley, dill and garlic powder. Mix well and serve with crackers or on a sandwich.

*I ate my first sandwich, on 7 grain bread with lettuce added.
Sandwich #2 was made using flour tortillas and lettuce.
Then I ate some with crackers. IT IS ADDICTING and I'm not a tuna salad lover at all!
*In the photo, I had also added some green apple. It didn't need anything extra but I needed to use up the apples!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ronald, The Big Mac and Me.





I wanted to brag about my brush with greatness.

This is a photo from a few years ago of me with fellow community volunteer Jamie, with none other than Ronald McDonald himself!

I was asked to be a judge of our local kiddie and Pet Parade which was sponsored by our local McDonald's and they brought in The Ronald to be the parade Marshal.

I really didn't realize how great Ronald was with the children. He performed magic tricks, was very generous with the many photos ops and answered any questions while keeping that famous Ronald smile of his the entire time. The kids were in awe of him.

This icon has been around since the sixties (so have I!) and continues to wow those he comes in contact with (me...not so much, anymore).

Our local McDonald's Owners, John and Mary Moreland are extremely generous to our community- always giving back and helping meet needs and putting smiles on faces of children and adults alike. The McDonald's corporation are also involved in helping with the needs of children -going above and beyond helping busy mothers feed their hungry kids- pronto!

And besides getting a quick meal when you need it- I have found that in my travels across several states, McD's are the cleanest and the most well run fast food restaurants of any chain across the nation.

Having said all that, I will give you my version of their famous BIG MAC which is THE most popular burger in America- making its debut back in the sixties. (Their burger, not mine)




1 sesame seed hamburger bun
Half of an additional bun
1'4 lb. ground beef
1 T. Kraft Thousand Island dressing
1 tsp. finely diced onion
1/2 cup chopped lettuce
1 slice American cheese
2-3 dill pickle slices

With serrated knife, cut the top off the extra bun, leaving about a 3/4 " thick slice. This will be the middle of your sandwich.
Place 3 bun halves on hot griddle or pan, face down. Toast to a light brown. Keep pan warm but set buns aside.

Divide beef in half and press into two patties, slightly larger than the bun.

Cook patties in pan over med. heat 3 minutes each side (or until no longer pink in center). Salt lightly.

Build burger in this order:
Bottom bun
1/2 of dressing
1/2 of onion
1/2 of lettuce
cheese
patty
middle bun
remainder of dressing
"" of onion
"" of lettuce
Pickle slices
patty
top bun.

Makes 1 burger.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cole Slaw



Howdy, foodies! It's been awhile, hasn't it?
I wanted to share this delicious cole slaw recipe just in time for your Memorial Day picnic!

You'll love the sweet/sour taste and it's much safer than the mayonnaise-style recipes when you are eating outdoors!

The recipe is from my Aunt Kathryn Wall- a wonderful cook.

YOU WILL NEED:
1 med. head cabbage
1 thinly sliced onion
1 green pepper (diced)
1 carrots, shredded
7/8 cup sugar
1 c. vinegar
3/4 cup salad oil
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. celery seed

Shred cabbage; put in covered dish. Mix cabbage with onion, green pepper and carrot. Cover with 7/8 cups sugar. Bring to a boil the vinegar, oil, 2 tsp. sugar, salt, dry mustard, and celery seed. Immediately pour over onion/cabbage/sugar and cover. LET STAND 4 HOURS; then stir and serve. Will keep in fridge for two weeks.

ENJOY!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leftover Ham recipes


I hope everyone enjoyed enjoyed their Easter Weekend, and I hope you were able to enjoy your family and friends as well as DELICIOUS food, as I did!

Here are links to a couple of my previous posts that are perfect for using your ham leftovers.

The first is Pasta Primavera with Smoky Ham (an old Bon Appetite recipe)Delicious and not heavy. Especially good after Easter's heavy meal. (It is photographed above)


The next is a simple throw together, Ham/veggie Casserole.


A simple but tasty recipe to mix-up those ham leftovers.

ENJOY!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Ideas


I LOVE celebrating Easter! Springtime is alive with all the beautiful colors and warmer temps, and the Easter Sunday service is always special to me and my family.

Check out my sidebar on the RIGHT (scroll down just a bit) to find some great Easter recipes and ideas to make this celebration extra special. *If you click on the photo, you will be taken to the recipe.

CROCK POT HAM-Paula Deen's Corn Casserole, Asparagus, Resurrection Buns (great to make with the kids to tell the Easter story), Meringue cake, Hot cross buns, and more!

For the Christian community, of which I'm proud to be a part, this event changed the world as we know it. This week is Holy week- set aside to reflect on Jesus' great sacrifice.

We must make a intentional effort to give honor to Him as we are pulled in so many directions.

A few things that help keep Christ at the forefront is to re-read the Easter story in the Bible. You can read it online here. Share it with your family the night before, or read it before dinner on Easter Sunday.

*If you have small children or grandchildren, telling the story with RESURRECTION EGGS is a fun project to do with the kids. You can watch an instructional video (here.)

*Rent THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST or JESUS OF NAZARETH to give yourself a visual of His life, death, burial and Resurrection!

*Attend an Easter  service, drama or Cantata at a local church.

*Attend a sunrise Easter service with a local congregation.

*Google Easter ideas and create a new tradition for your family.

Here's to a wonderful Easter celebration for you and yours!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Three Ingredient Thursday- Cranberry Mustard Pork Chops



This little experiment worked out really well. This came from the mind of a bored cook with a nearly empty cabinet right before a food shopping spree, while she was trying to use up some ingredients she had on hand.

I'm bored easily and because my sons are frequent guests at my dinner table, my cabinets get emptied on a regular basis. SO this one was easy to come up with.

Who says cranberry sauce must be a seasonal ingredient? It was wonderful!
You will need :

*Pork Chops ( I like a thicker cut, but your preference will work)
*Dijon mustard
*whole berry cranberry sauce (from the can)
(We won't count S&P and oil for cooking)

Season chops with S & P and brown slightly in skillet in 1-2 T. oil. Brush on mustard and cook on med.heat on stovetop covered for 5 minutes. Turn over and brush other side with mustard and cook for 5 more minutes on Med. High heat while covered. Turn heat to med., till meat is thoroughly cooked and spoon cranberry sauce over top. Heat through.

It's that simple.
Something a bit different for when you're bored and your cabinets are bare.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Irish Blessing


I believe we should do everything within our power to promote strong family ties, and in my family (coming from an Italian background) that usually means family get-togethers that revolve around food!

When I married into my husband's Irish family, I decided to make a huge deal of St. Patrick's Day! The result? My three grown sons are very proud of their Irish heritage and it strengthens our family as a whole!

I invite My parents, Big Al's mother, my brother and sister and their children and my sons, of course.

My house is decorated for the special day

Simple table decor---and we eat on paper plates (let's face it...the Irish are NOT pretentious!)


Lots of traditional Irish music in the air (I have about 7 CDs now)


ANd we dance an Irish jig or two....



We enjoy traditional Irish recipes (corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread)




along with some other favorites that aren't necessarily Irish, but green in color and delicious! (Like the green ITALIAN creme cake (lest my boys forget their Italian heritage!)



And you know how the Irish enjoy story tellin'.....




My son Jordan is full of Blarney...he was awarded the Blarney Stone!


We look up interesting Irish facts and have an Irish trivia contest.


MY IRISH BLESSINGS-
My brother and Mom....

My Mom and sister








My niece Cortney and I....I hope she grows up with fond memories of St. patty's Day at her great Aunt Sherri's house.


When the dancin' is over, we "sweep the floor" with the child with the longest hair! (A Murphy family tradition)





Any good Irishman helps his wife clean up after a big shindig!



Don't let these opportunities pass you by- celebrate ANYTHING and Everything with those you love most!

And may your house always be too small to hold all your friends!~ An Irish blessing.